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Trends in Pap Testing Over Time for Women With and Without Chronic Disability.

INTRODUCTION: Data from 20 years ago--shortly after passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act--showed that women with significant mobility disability had 40% lower Pap test rates than other women.

METHODS: To examine whether disability disparities in Pap test rates have diminished over time, this study analyzed National Health Interview Survey responses from selected years between 1998 and 2010 from women aged 21-65 years without histories of cervical cancer or hysterectomy. Seven chronic disability types were identified using self-reported functional impairments or participation limitations. Self-reported Pap testing within the previous 3 years was studied. Bivariable analyses and multivariable logistic regression analyses controlling for sociodemographic variables were conducted in 2014.

RESULTS: Rates of all chronic disability types increased over time. Pap test rates remained relatively constant over time for all women, holding around 84%-87%. Bivariable analyses found statistically significantly lower rates of Pap testing for women with disability compared with nondisabled women. Multivariable analyses failed to find consistent evidence of lower Pap test rates among women across disability types compared with nondisabled women. In 2010, the AOR for reporting Pap testing for women noting the most severe movement difficulty compared with nondisabled women was 0.35 (95% CI=0.15, 0.79). However, the AOR for this disability type varied over time.

CONCLUSIONS: Little has changed over time in Pap test rates for all women. Women with certain disabilities continue to experience disparities compared with nondisabled women in receipt of this important screening test.

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